Current Playlist: February 2017

The month is ending but I’ve been listening to some unbelievable vocalists, all discovered by serendipity.  There’s a strong country – western – bluegrass connection among them, all women, but each one is distinct.

Martha Scanlan

I hadn’t heard of Martha Scanlan before coming across a bluegrass super group called Reeltime Travelers and their Livin’ Reeltime, Thinkin’ Old-time.  Her 2016 album The Shape of Things Gone Missing, The Shape of Things to Come is a nice mixture of slow and medium tempo songs.  I loved her two songs on the Reeltime album, Halleluia and Little Bird of Heaven as well.  There’s something warm and laid back about her voice.

Alison Krauss

Anyone who hasn’t been under a rock will have heard of Alison Krauss.  I gues I was under a rock.  Or, rather, I was listening to a different world of music.  I’d initially heard her a few years ago leading Union Station and then, recently on the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack.  Her latest album, Windy City, is a gentler collection than the Union Station album I have.  I’ve recently been hooked on her Down to the RIver to Pray from the film soundtrack.

Courtney Marie Andrews

My daughter asked me if I’d heard of Courtney Marie Andrews, and I hadn’t.  As she has said before, our music tastes are very different but, very occasionally, they collide spectactularly.  This is a good example.  Courtney Marie Andrews’ 2016 album, Honest Life, is incredible.  I was getting a copy for my daughter and ended up listening to it myself, on repeat, for the rest of the day.  It’s an incredible set of songs – wistful, my daughter describes them – and some evoke such heartache.  Like Martha Scanlan, I think of the west when I hear her voice.